Bay Scallop

Argopecten irradians

Image by Rachael Norris and Marina Freudzon on Wikimedia, public domain

Physical: Bay scallops are bivalves with circular, corrugated shells.  They have a row of 30 to 40 bright blue eyes around the edge of their shells. Unlike other bivalves, they do not have a foot for digging or a siphon for water intake.

Habitat: Bay scallops live in estuaries, mainly in eelgrass beds.  Juveniles attach to eelgrass vegetation, which helps them avoid bottom-feeding predators such as sea stars.  Adults live on the sediment surface in eelgrass beds, where they move along the bottom by forcibly ejecting water from their shells.

Feeding: Bay scallops are filter feeders, consuming plankton from the water.

Breeding: Scallops reach sexual maturity at age one and spawn in the summer. Their life span is about two years.

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